My daddy is a man of few words, and even fewer gifts. He doesn’t write and prattle like I do. Often, his vocabulary fails him to convey what he really wants to say.
But though he lacks words and structured sentences, he mends broken hearts and dry tears with a hug or a shoulder to cry on. Expressions of love were not written on paper but comes in the form of his Hokkien Mee or letting us loose at the night markets to buy as many siu mai as we could eat.
Being the only daughter, my daddy is fiercely protective of me. Potential boyfriends had to send in their highest educational qualifications and latest payslips. They are thoroughly screened and probed before they are deemed worthy.
My daddy has scared off a fair share of hopeful guys.
I used to resent him for it but now I understand that he only wants the best for his daughter, his princess.
But still, if I am not married by 26, he told me to just lelong.
Growing up, my daddy was in the kitchen more than my mum. He cooked all our dinners making a racket banging the heavy wok against the stove or singing loudly while doing the dishes. He introduced my brother and I to cooking, encouraged us to try new recipes by going to the market to get us ingredients.
He inspired my food blog sekpaumei? and stocked up the house with charcoal in the event of food poisoning.
He taught me my table manners and is the reason why I don’t eat at roadside stalls anymore.
My daddy is my number one supporter. He’ll come to every sports day, from my kindergarten days to high school. He’d cheer me on under the hot sun, shouting my name on the sidelines.
And though there are moments when someone’s pretty mum would distract him, I could always count on finding him at the end of every goal, every finish line.
He’d be so proud; the bronze medal around my neck could very well be gold.
This Father’s Day, I wish you the best of health and many more years of ogling at my friends’ mums. May the good Lord grant you the strength to endure mummy and worse things in life.
I kid, if you can endure my mother, you can endure anything.
I am all that I am today (single eyelids included) because of you.
I love you.